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Season 2014/15 – Part One July – December 2014

May 28, 2015

July/August.

Arsenal started with a friendly 1-0 defeat away in New York v the Red Bulls where a certain Mr Coquelin was on the subs bench and a certain Mt Henry was playing for our opposition.  New signings Alexis Sanchez and Manuel Debuchy did not figure

Next up was the Emirates Cup where Arsenal beat Benfica 5-1 with Sanogo scoring four goals. Callum Chambers made his first appearance and Alexis Sanchez made his first start. The following day Arsenal was robbed of the draw in the match v Monaco with the worse penalty decision not given I’ve seen. Akpom was well inside the area and Atkinson took the word of his linesman and gave a free kick outside the area. This was followed by Arsenal’s third visit to Wembley in the space of three months, where Arsenal ran out easy 3-0 victors over Manchester City. Sanchez, Chambers and Debuchy all got run outs.

The league started with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace with Alexis Sanchez, Manuel Debuchy and Callum Chambers all making their full debuts for the club. This game was much harder than it looked, Palace took the lead and Arsenal equalised right on HT with Koscielny converting a Sanchez cross. Late in the game Puncheon got sent off and almost immediately Ramsey scored the winner right on full-time. I then took flight to Antalya in Turkey for holidays and followed the Besiktas match on Twitter and a lucky escape for Arsenal  as Besiktas played well, so a 0-0 draw was good. Everton could have been away with the fairies by half time. However, Arsenal were much better in the second half and goals from Ramsey/Giroud gave Arsenal 2-2 draw and a deserved point. Besiktas at home was also close, however a goal right on half time by Sanchez proved to be the winner and send Arsenal into the Champions League proper. A League game at Over land and sea (and Leicester) was up next. Once again it was Sanchez who grabbed the goal to give Arsenal a draw against a spirited Leicester side. Giroud was ruled out till January with a broken leg after a late injury picked up in the 2-2 draw away at Everton. Arsenal finished the month with five points from three games and seventh in the table. Not the start many fans would have expected.

Table as of August 2014

September

A deadline day signing saw Arsene sign Danny Welbeck from Manchester United. This month saw Arsenal win just one match out of five in all competitions. It started with a 2-2 home draw against Manchester City where Augero gave City the lead after a sucker punch break. Wilshere got Arsenal back in it and then Sanchez scored a beauty to put Arsenal ahead. Arsenal fell to not defending a cross when Demichelis headed in with six minutes to go.

Arsenal’s first Champions League group match was away at Dortmund  and resulted in a 2-0 defeat. Arsenal were just not at the races, even though possession wise they had more of the ball. The reality is possession does not mean goals and with less possession it would not have been unjust if Dortmund had scored five.

In the league the next match was away at Aston Villa who had started well and sitting in second place behind Chelsea in the table. Arsenal played well for three minutes and scored in the 33rd, 34th and 35th minutes to win 3-0 with goals from Ozil, Welbeck and an OG by Cissokho. A game where neither side had a shot at goal after the 53rd minute. The Capital One Cup saw Southampton who were also having a good start to the season come to the Emirates. David Ospina made his debut for the club.  Arsenal started well and Sanchez scored a cracker from a free-kick to put Arsenal ahead. However, goals from Tadic and a cracker from Clyne gave Saints a 2-1 win and saw Arsenal depart the competition early.

The month ended with the North London Derby, Tottenham at the Emirates. Arsene left out Sanchez and Cazorla from the starting line up.. Spurs went 1-0 up through Chadli, though Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the equaliser after seventy-five minutes. Disappointing not to have beaten Spurs having had control of the game for long periods. Arsenal finished the month with ten points from six games and in fourth place.

Table as of Septemkber 2014

October

The month started with a good win at home to Galatasaray in our second Champions League group match. Arsenal running out 4-1 winners. Goals from Sanchez and a Danny Welbeck hat-trick put Arsenal 4-0 up and from then on it was hand brake on. The first league match of the month was away at Chelsea where our opponents run out 2-0 winners with goals from Hazard (pen) and Costa. I have no doubt Chelsea should have been down to ten men when Cahill made a very poor tackle on Sanchez. Had Cahill been sent off I also have no doubt Hazard would have gone off and replaced by a defender.

Hull City were the first team to visit the Emirates in October and it was Sanchez who put Arsenal in the lead. Hull with typical fighting spirit scored within minutes of the Sanchez goal and then again right after half time to go 2-1 up which was a shock for the home crowd. Arsenal had to wait for a ninety-first minute equalise from Welbeck. There was just enough time for a Gibbs chance of a winner but his effort was saved.

Champions League Group stage match three was up next against Anderlecht. A scrappy match where both sides were hardly on top form and the first half was dire. On seventy-one minutes Anderlecht got the goal their play deserved as they came more into the match. . Arsenal looked to be struggling however, on came Podolski. Gibbs scored an equaliser in the eighty-ninth minute and one minute later Podolski slammed home the winner and Arsenal got a victory out of a game they looked like losing. Sunderland away in the league was the months last match and Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners with two goals, one in each half from Sanchez, the second coming right on full-time and was Arsenal’s 1500th in the Premier League. Arsenal ended the month in fifth place on fourteen points from nine games.

Table as of October 2014

November

Burnley were the first visitors to the Emirates in November and Arsenal run out 3-0 winners, pretty much as expected. Arsenal though were made to wait till the seventieth minute for Sanchez to open the scoring. this was followed two minutes later with Chambers getting his first goal for the club. Sanchez rounded off the win in the ninetieth minute. Champions League group match four against Anderlecht was next at the Emirates. A penalty from Arteta put Arsenal 1-0 up after Welbeck was fouled.  Sanchez scored a cracker after his original free-kick shot came back of the wall and with fifteen minutes gone in the second half Oxlade-Chamberlain hit a screamer for 3-0 to Arsenal and the game looked dead and buried.  However, at 3-0 it was that Arsenal switch off mentality that came into play as if the manager says that’s enough lads, take it easy, play your football and see if the goals come, don’t force the game anymore. In this case Arsenal paid the price and goals from Borre (2) and right on full-time Mitrovic gave Anderlecht a 3-3 draw. Arsenal simply threw the game away.

The next league match was away at Swansea. Arsenal went 1-0 up through a superb Arsenal move which ended with Welbeck setting up Sanchez to score from six yards. Make no mistake Arsenal were in control but yet again somehow managed to mess things up and let Swansea back into the game.  With fifteen minutes left  first Sigurdsson  and then three minutes later Gomis put Swansea 2-1 up and this is how the game ended. Once again all very frustrating.

Manchester United’s visited the Emirates and how United left with all three points is anyone’s guess. An OG from Gibbs and a second from Arsenal’s nemesis Rooney saw United go 2-0 up. As much as Arsenal pushed forward all they got was a late cracker from Giroud to reduce the arrears. It has to be said United wasted two great chances late on to put the game to bed.

Arsenal then beat Dortmund 2-0 at home in their fifth Champions League group match which assured qualification into the last sixteen of the competition. Sanogo opened the scoring for Arsenal with his first competitive goal after only seventy-five seconds. Sanchez scored the deciding goal after fifty-seven minutes to give Arsenal the victory. Arsenal’s next game and final game of the month was away at West Bromwich Albion where Danny Welbeck scored the winner after sixty minutes. Arsenal ended the month in sixth place on twenty points from fourteen games.

Table as of November 2014

December

Arsenal started the month with Southampton currently second in the table and playing well. It was also the visitors second visit to the Emirates this season, having won the first. A game where Arsenal played well had enough chances at goal, quite a few on target but had to wait till the last-minute for Sanchez to bag the winner. Next up was the game every Arsenal fan loves – away to Stoke City. No sooner had the game kicked off, when Crouch gave Stoke the lead. Arsenal were shocking in the first half with Stoke scoring two more to go in 3-0 ahead at the break. Arsenal were much better in the second half and pulled back to 3-2 with a penalty from Cazorla and a Ramsey effort. Arsenal looked a comfortable bet at this stage to get something out of the game when Chambers stupidly got himself sent off. I thought the referee seriously helped Stoke here. The game ended 3-2 to Stoke.

Champions League again and the last group match away in Turkey v Galatasaray. Would Arsenal take it easy? Well Arsenal were 2-0 up after eleven minutes through Podolski and Ramsey. After nineteen minutes Ramsey surely scored the goal of the season in all competitions with a cracking effort from distance. Gala pulled one back, but Podolski scored his second to give Arsenal a 4-1 win. This left Arsenal on the same points as Dortmund, but the Germans won the group on goal difference. A few days later Arsenal entertained Newcastle and won 4-1 with goals from Giroud (2) and Cazorla (2). Arsenal then travelled to Liverpool the scene of their 5-1 hammering last season. Coutinho put Liverpool 1-0 up yet almost straight away Debuchy grabbed his first goal for the Arsenal. 1-1 at HT. Giroud then put Arsenal 2-1 up and only a late goal by Skrtel stopped Arsenal from bagging a good win.

Arsenal’s sixth match of the month saw Queen’s Park Raisins come to the Emirates. Sanchez put Arsenal ahead midway towards the end of the first half. Giroud was then sent off for a headbutt. Rosicky made it 2-0 twenty minutes into the second half and Austin pulled one back for raisins, but ten man Arsenal held on. Arsenal then travelled to East London to play West Ham.  Arsenal won 2-1 with late first half goals from Cazorla and Welbeck. West Ham pulled a goal back, but Arsenal should have scored more as chances for Sanchez and Oxlade-Chamberlain went begging. Arsenal ended the month in  joint fourth with Southampton on thirty-three points from nineteen games.

Table as of December 2014

The first half of the season then was not as good as I would have expected from Arsenal. Going into the New year a full thirteen points behind the leaders Chelsea, eleven points behind second placed Manchester City and somehow Manchester United who were not playing particularly well were also ahead by three points. Injuries once again were played their part.

However, the shape of the team was not right and too many players played out of position. The teams tactics against opposition was at times poor and some games were lost and drawn with ease. Opponents were setting themselves up to counter our style of play and finding it all to easy to stifle us. The team did not look like it could gel at all. New signing and worth every penny of his £30m price tag Sanchez saved Arsenal  many times from results being even worse than they were. His all round game simply put a smile on supporters faces and he never gave up and full of running and battling qualities as well as the obvious bags of skill he has. Young Bellerin also looked like a good player for the future.

However, having not played as well as expected the injuries started to get better and the team did look like they were picking up in December. Arsenal ended the year losing only one of their last nine matches, drew one and won seven in all competitions. What with qualification into the knock out rounds of the Champions League sorted there was hope that the second half of the season could be a good one for the team

Part Two and my awards for the season up soon after the Cup Final.

Cheers

@harlowgooner

One Comment leave one →
  1. Samuel Sobowale permalink
    May 28, 2015 20:56

    This finished season as been a great season for arsenal

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